Black Hat Fireside Chat: Why using ‘Clean Code’ is paramount in speedy software development

By Byron V. Acohido

Clean Code’ is a simple concept rooted in common sense. This software writing principle cropped up some 50 years ago and might seem quaint in today’s era of speedy software development.

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At Black Hat 2023, I had the chance to visit with Olivier Gaudin, founder and co-CEO, and Johannes Dahse, head of R&D, at SonarSource, a Geneva, Switzerland-based supplier of systems to achieve Clean Code. Olivier outlined the characteristics all coding should have and Dahse explained how healthy code can be fostered. For a drill down, please give the accompanying podcast a listen.

Responsibility for Clean Code, Olivier told me, needs to be placed with the developer, whether he or she is creating a new app or an update. Caring for source code when developing and deploying applications at breakneck speed mitigates technical debt – the snowballing problems associated with fixing bugs.

Guest experts: Olivier Gaudin, co-CEO, Johannes Dahse, Head of R&D, SonarSource

“If you try to go faster but don’t take good care of the code, you are actually going slower,” Olivier argues. “Any change is going to cost you more than it should because your code is bad, dirty, junky or whatever you want to call it that’s the opposite of clean code.”

What’s more, Clean Code improves security —  by reinforcing “shift left,” the practice of testing as early as feasible in the software development lifecycle.

Olivier and Dahse make a persuasive argument that Clean Code can and should arise as the innermost layer of security. The transformation progresses. I’ll keep watch and keep reporting.


Pulitzer Prize-winning business journalist Byron V. Acohido is dedicated to fostering public awareness about how to make the Internet as private and secure as it ought to be.

(LW provides consulting services to the vendors we cover.)


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